5 Ways Luke Skywalker Could Steal the Show in ‘Star Wars: Episode IX’

The farm boy from Tatooine isn't going down without a fight. Or a flashback.

If Luke Skywalker isn’t the most popular character in all of Star Wars, then he’s certainly the most hyped person in the galaxy. In The Last Jedi, Luke spends most of the movie not believing his own hype, but by the end, he inspires countless kids on planets everywhere to think he’s a mega folk hero. This obviously checks with how we think about Luke IRL, but what does it mean for Episode IX? We know Mark Hamill is in the movie, and because Hamill has been super-secretive about what that means, it feels like it’s very possible his role is different than what we’ve seen before. If this is it for Luke, how will it all go down?

Because Episode IX is the end of the Skywalker saga, Luke’s role can’t be simple or predictable. Here are five ways the star-eyed farmboy from Tatooine could actually make Episode IX surprising, even though he’s technically dead.

Speculative spoilers for Star Wars: Episode IX follow.

Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in 'The Last Jedi.'

A Hilarious Version of Obi-Wan Kenobi

The easiest guess for Luke’s role in Episode IX is that of a mentor to Rey, and any other potential new Jedi in the movie. Like Obi-Wan and Yoda before him, Luke will appear as a shimmering spirit, guiding Rey during key moments. This difference is, Luke will be way more fun than Obi-Wan ever was. We saw a little bit of this in The Last Jedi; the idea that Luke was basically the funniest guy in the galaxy, able to make everyone laugh, but keeping it clean the whole time. Sort of like if the Dalai Lama fused with Ellen Degeneres.

Luke Skywalker is loco crazy.
'Don't you know I'm loco?"- Luke Skywalker

Luke Skywalker propaganda

Because Luke intentionally spread the story of himself all across the galaxy at the end of The Last Jedi, it’s possible we could see dramatizations of how people imagine Luke Skywalker’s adventures. At the end of the Last Jedi we saw the Broom Kid and his friends playing with crude toys, but what if adults are telling passed-down oral stories of Luke? Could the movie then cut to show us what those stories are like? If so, this shit could get wild. It’s one thing to see the “actual” adventures of Luke Skywalker in Star Wars. Imagine what the “myths” look like in the minds of people like Rey!

Rey and Luke Skywalker in 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'.
Rey and Luke Skywalker in 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'.

Part of the Movie Happens Inside the Force

Okay, this is a little nuts, but what if Luke actually has to battle the embodiment of the Dark Side of the Force, from like inside of some sort of netherworld? It sounds a little nuts, but there’s actually a canonical precedent for this. In The Clone Wars episodes “Overlords,” “Altar of Mortis,” and “Ghosts of Mortis,” Obi-Wan, Ahsoka, and Anakin Skywalker meet physical embodiments of the Light Side and the Dark Side. These characters are called “Sister” (who represents the Light) and “Brother” (who represents the Dark.) The thing is, this story directly asserts that the reason the Force is out of balance is that all of these people were destroyed, and Anakin refused to help keep things cool. Episode IX doesn’t have to overtly reference all this stuff, but the idea that there is something elemental and metaphysical wrong with the universe feels like it’s been running through the entirety of Star Wars. If Luke has become one with the Force, maybe he can fix it?

Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in 'The Last Jedi.'
Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in 'The Last Jedi.'

A lot of Flashbacks

We still don’t really know much about what happened to Luke Skywalker in between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. How did he find the planet Ahch-to? What happened to his X-Wing? What about his green saber? Some rumors suggest that Luke’s X-Wing has been spotted on the set of Episode IX. If this is true, it seems like at least one flashback will definitely happen.

Luke old and young
Luke Skywalker Mark Hamill

Back to Life!

Luke Skywalker could also just come back to life. Even for a little while. If Luke was powerful enough to project his image off of Ach-to, then it’s reasonable to think that he has enough Force mojo to reconstitute his body again. Or, as he did in The Last Jedi, Force-project from beyond the grave. Weirdly, if this did happen, it would fulfill an unused idea for at least one draft of Return of the Jedi. In Star Wars: The Annotated Screenplays, its revealed that George Lucas was considering at least one version of the story that included Ben Kenobi coming back to life in the flesh. Obviously, this idea was dropped for Return of the Jedi, but that doesn’t mean J.J. Abrams won’t bring it back for Episode IX. Plus, if Luke Skywalker just turns out to be unkillable, that will really piss off Kylo Ren

Star Wars: Episode IX hits theaters on December 20, 2019.*

Media via Lucasfilm/Disney, Lucasfilm, Disney/Lucasfilm, Inverse